29 September 2017

Nigeria: Kano, Katsina, Jigawa Reject Restructuring

Photo: This Day
Restructuring map.

The governments of Kano, Katsina and Jigawa states have rejected the restructuring of the country.

The states declared their position yesterday at a public hearing organised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) on true federalism in Kano.

In its stead, they said the northwest zone would prefer a united Nigeria and strong federating units.

The governments were also unanimous on the balance of economic development and spread of social growth across the country.

But, the position of Kaduna State government was not known, as the governor neither attended the meeting, nor sent a representative. He also did not submit memoranda on behalf of the state.

The governors, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, Muhammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State and Aminu Bello Masari of Kastina State, affirmed the country's unity in diversity.

They said true federalism should not be misconstrued for a weak central government, but rather a Federal Government that should be seen as a strong coordinating unit.

They canvassed the equitable distribution of common resources among the federating units.

They, however, argued that some key issues like education and agriculture should be removed from the exclusive list to make states and local councils to effectively manage their affairs.

The states also rejected the creation of additional states.

Lalong, who is the Chairman of the APC true federalism committee explained that devolution of power, fiscal federalism, local government autonomy and resource control were among the items on its agenda. A former governor of Enugu State, Sylvia Chime, represented him.

Similarly, Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau states have opted for the indivisibility of the Federal Government. The states made their positions known yesterday at the public hearing in Jos, Plateau State.

The governors, Umar Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, Lalong of Plateau State and Samuel Ortom of Benue State canvassed their position yesterday at the public hearing in Jos, Plateau State.

They said they were opposed to a restructuring, which is interpreted by some people to mean balkanisation of the country.

While Lalong argued that the challenges of governance started with the amalgamation of Nigeria as a sovereign nation, Al-Makura, said it was too late for the country to divide.

But, the Secretary to the State Government in Benue State, Anthony Ojufu, who represented the governor, said the state is in support of local government autonomy.

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